Friday, June 28, 2013

Fireblossom Friday--"Loss"

Hello, Toads and Toad followers. This time, FBF is about loss. We've all lost things and people that were important to us. I want you to write it here. It could be the loss of love, health, security, peace of mind, or one's sense of place in the world. Any loss you can think of is fair game, but I do ask you to be serious. I'm looking for the kind of loss that breaks your heart, so no jokey light-hearted poems about lost keys, please. 

Any time we care for someone or count on something, we expose ourselves to the risk of loss. It's a universal experience. So, stain the page with tears and tell me about losing someone or something dear. 

One last thing...please write a NEW poem written specifically for this challenge.  Any form is fine except haiku, and free verse is cool, too. I look forward to visiting you all and seeing what you've created!

Here is a song to get you in the mood.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

About Face

Peggy Goetz here with a new effort to provide a prompt for fellow Toads and visitors every five weeks.  I decided to focus on faces for my column called About Face.

I will feature my own photos in this column and you are welcome to copy them into your own blogs as you use them for poetic inspiration. Please include the copyright information.

© Peggy Goetz

There is a lot in a face, lots of story, lots of feelings. Sometimes we can see the future in a face. We can see expectation, doubt or fear. 

© Peggy Goetz

© Peggy Goetz

Also there can be history in a face. What has this person seen in his or her life? What pride or regrets are in this face?

© Peggy Goetz

We can see fortune and misfortune in a face, circumstance and genetics as well.

This week take a look at these faces. Think about who they might belong to and what they might be thinking or what they may have experienced or felt.  Don't worry about who they might really be or where they are from. Just use your eyes and your imagination and write on!

Use Mr. Linky to link up your new effort here so the rest of us can see what you did!

Peggy Goetz

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Toad's Favor(u)rite Poem

I found this challenge difficult, until I went downtown to the historic part of the city, I frequent.  I felt the spirits whisper to me and the connection I discovered stunned me.  I live close to Elizabeth City, NC.  Orville n' Wilbur Wright stayed in town before going to Kitty Hawk, for their first flight.  They also inspired the poet I want to share with you today.

 It all started the night I went to my daughter's boyfriend's graduation.  I sat there in the bleachers and Robert Frost's poem, A Road Not Taken, popped into my mind.  It was read at my graduation.   Later in the week,  Robert Frost's name surfaced again.  I took my daughter on an art date downtown.  I discovered there was an antique shop, in the former Southern Hotel.  This shop is inside the historic lobby.   It is steeped in history and charm.  The original staircase once lead to the rooms and a ballroom was on the fourth floor.  Still in existence is the original marble slab check in counter, the service elevator door and button, and the gorgeous checkered floors.  The ceiling has had some work, but you can see it is unique.

  I talked to the shop's owner about the history and yes Orville n' Wilbur Wright had been in these parts, in this hotel.  She said other names and I heard her mention Robert Frost.  I stopped on the way home to mail my butterfly art submission to a magazine and knew I had to do some research.  I discovered Robert was a  New Englander, like me.  He  had been here in this area, not just in the city, but on the Dismal Swamp.  I live near the Dismal Swamp State Park, which is in both North Carolina and Virginia. The swamp was part of the National Underground Railroad and considered a national treasure. How did he end up here, I wondered?

Elinor Miriam White and Robert Frost

He had proposed to his love, Elinor White we share the same initials. She was in college and said no. She wanted to finish her education before marriage, smart girl. He had written a poem for her called My Butterfly-I have goosebumps I just mailed my butterfly art-weird.  It was his first published poem.  She refused his proposal and he boarded a train-distraught and ended up in my neck of the woods.

My Butterfly

Precipitate in love,
Tossed, tangled, whirled and whirled above
like a limp rose-wreath in a fairy dance.
When that was, the soft mist
Of my regret hung not on all the land...

 A Line Storm Song

In the wood-world’s torn despair
Than now these numberless years the elves,
Although they are no less there:
All song of the woods is crushed like some
Wild, easily shattered rose...

Ghost House

I dwell with a strangely aching heart
In that vanished abode there far apart
On that disused and forgotten road
That has no dust-bath now for the toad
Night comes; the black bats tumble and dart;...

“Poet Robert Frost vanished into the Dismal Swamp, according to local legend, contemplating suicide. After imbibing at a local roadhouse, Frost changed his mind and was inspired to write his signature poem, The Road Less Traveled.”

            Later published as The Road Not Taken:

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day! 
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back...

Elinor and Robert did get married in 1895! She finished college, he did not. 

 I discovered Robert Frost wrote a poem about Orville n' Wilbur years later. Their first flight was in Kill Devil Hills, but the record soaring one was in Kitty Hawk. Info here. 
There are 473 lines in his Kitty Hawk poem. I will share a few stanzas-no not my favorite poem.

Kitty Hawk

Kitty Hawk, O Kitty,
There was once a song,
Who knows but a great
Emblematic ditty,
I might well have sung
When I came here young
Out and down along
Sixty years ago...

 When the chance went by
For my Muse to fly
From this Runway Beach
As a figure of speech
In a flight of words,
Little I imagined
Men would treat this sky
Some day to a pageant
Like a thousand birds.
Neither you nor I
Ever thought to fly.
Oh, but fly we did,
Literally fly……

Robert Frost

And now my favorite poem: 

To the Thawing Wind

Come with rain, O loud Southwester!
 Bring the singer, bring the nester;
 Give the buried flower a dream;
 Make the settled snow-bank steam;
 Find the brown beneath the white;
 But whate'er you do to-night,
 Bathe my window, make it flow,
 Melt it as the ice will go;
 Melt the glass and leave the sticks
 Like a hermit's crucifix;
 Burst into my narrow stall;
 Swing the picture on the wall;
 Run the rattling pages o'er;
 Scatter poems on the floor;
 Turn the poet out of door.

Robert Frost

I love how Robert uses nature as a metaphor.   For me, this poem expresses the writing process. I feel the insight of how we as poets bring life to our words and make them breathe.  
Robert Frost:   " A poem aims for “a momentary stay against confusion.” It “begins in delight and ends in wisdom.”   ...“Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting.”  He stated the highest goal of the poet is— “to lodge a few poems where they will be hard to get rid of.”

For info about this poet check these sites:

The Figure A Poem Makes

Frost Bio

Frost Timeline

Monday, June 24, 2013

Open Link Monday

Welcome to the Imaginary Garden!

photo by Marian Kent, My Children's Garden
Greetings, everyone! I believe this is the first time I’m extending the Monday open link invitation, with Kerry away on vacation, so I thought I’d share a glimpse of the inhabitants of our garden. They’re not always so easy to photograph, preferring privacy for their assembly. So I am grateful that they agreed to pose for us today. Quite inspirational, that fellowship!

Without further delay, a warm invitation is extended to all friends of the Real Toads to share a poem today via our link-up, and to enjoy the writing of others who join in. All comments and reviews are greatly appreciated, so please do visit others sharing their work this week as well. Thank you, and I look forward to reading your writing. Have a great week!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sunday Mini Challenge ~ Jim Morrison

Recently I have been reading Jim Morrison's poetry. Most people who know the name associate him with the 1960's musical group, The Doors. Not only was he a talented musician and singer, but he was also an accomplished poet.

Without a Trace

We come to this world desperately,
we die in a fear of being dead.
Who could make up such a cruelty?
I would like to send a message
to the drafter:
Your plan is successfully done,
I'll disappear without a trace,
I promise.


Shake dreams from your hair
My pretty child, my sweet one.
Choose the day and
choose the sign of your day
The day’s divinity
First thing you see.
A vast radiant beach
in a cool jeweled moon
Couples naked race down by it’s quiet side
And we laugh like soft, mad children
Smug in the woolly cotton brains of infancy
The music and voices are all around us.
Choose, they croon, the Ancient Ones
The time has come again
Choose now, they croon,
Beneath the moon
Beside an ancient lake
Enter again the sweet forest
Enter the hot dream
Come with us
Everything is broken up and dances
When I first started writing this challenge I got so caught up in his poetry and how it is the subconscious speaking it became way too heavy for a "mini" challenge. So I took a breath hit delete and came back and decided to provide a list of  a few songs by the Doors for your inspiration. Choose one or as a many as you like and use the title/titles somewhere in your poem. Please provide a new poem and visit your fellow writers to read their creations.

Light My Fire
People Are Strange
Hello I love You
Love Me Two Times
Riders On The Storm
The Crystal Ship
When The Music's Over
Backdoor Man

The Sunday Mini-Challenge is hosted by Susie Clevenger.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Life, Love and the Pursuit of a Really Profound Thought

John Corbett from Northern Exposure

Goethe’s final words: “More light.” Ever since we crawled out of that primordial slime, that’s been our unifying cry, “More light.” Sunlight. Torchlight. Candlight. Neon, incandescent lights that banish the darkness from our caves to illuminate our roads, the insides of our refrigerators. Big floods for the night games at Soldier’s field. Little tiny flashlights for those books we read under the covers when we’re supposed to be asleep. Light is more than watts and footcandles. Light is metaphor. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Lead kindly light amid the encircling gloom, lead thou me on, the night is dark and I am far from home, lead thou me on. Arise, shine, for thy light has come. Light is knowledge, light is life, light is light.
— Chris in the Morning on KBHR
Played by John Corbett
From the Television Show Northern Exposure
Created By Joshua Brand and John Falsey
Original Author unknown

Toaaadddddsssss!!!!!! Herotomost here.  I have to start by apologizing for being a ghost lately, but at work our busy time is the summer months and ours started early and has been exceptionally hectic.  So in trying to get my chops flowing again, I am offering you this Friday Challenge in an attempt to reacquaint myself with all the lovely Toads in hopes that I have not been long forgotten and shelved for hipper and trendier new writers that make my writing look like so much swill.  So here it goes.....

What is it that we try to do when we create? We paint suffering, write love, sing joy.  We condense experience and become armchair philosophers crooning life's experiences to all who will listen and to an extent, its cathartic to the artist in a very personal way.

While that catharsis is a beautiful thing, it seems to me that an even more potent outcome of our art is when our personal triumphs and tribulations hit home with the reader in a way that changes them.  A word, turn of phrase, a lilt, a rhythm. A vision of something that stirs a memory, stacks nostalgia mountain high or mines the depths of sorrows trench, two shovels are better than one when the heart is concerned.

I was thinking about the way something so simple as a shared experience or a similarity can change someone's outlook to the point that a morning drive can be made bearable or even an entire life changed because of a new perspective and a feeling that you are not alone in your pain or joy. That light bulb turning on because someone sees things a bit more clearly than you do at any particular moment.

Ok, long intro to my point....but,  I was watching reruns of Northern Exposure the other day, I had forgotten how much I missed that show.  I would pay a subscription to have a radio station that would play me Chris in the Morning on my drive to work.  The bits of history, poetry, philosophy, community that he imparted at the beginning of each episode always kept me coming back.  KBHR and that show where the reason when I worked from my house, I never made any appointments between 10:00 and 11:00 am, that was my happy time. That radio show reminds me of our little community of writers and artists. I can't count the times that I have found purchase with the words of all of my friends in the Garden.  I have had bad days turned good, I have been filled with crushing empathy, I have rejoiced in good fortune and shared a some steamy and romantic thoughts with you all. We are in essence philosophers and counselors to each other lifting and supporting at every turn.  When you take breaks like I often do, I find a bit of hole in who I am and a need to get my feet back on the ground.

So today's challenge is this.  I want you to pretend you are Chris in the Morning and write a bit of personal philosophy that you would like to impart to your friends.  Something you have been thinking about and strikes a chord with you and may resonate with others as well. Tell me about something that fills you up, turns you on, something that makes you think. You can put it in a poem, a story, an know I have no preference when it comes to format, just get me thinking about what you are thinking about. Give me a philosophical jag from hell, or just a thought for the day, doesn't matter, just let us chew on a little piece of your soul.

This may seem like it leaves a lot of room for interpretation...and you are right, but it is a starting point and not a one of you has ever let me down! Give me one really profound thought to carry me through my weekend trip to San Diego and I will as always, be forever grateful!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Get Listed ~ Helen's Choice

Our guest contributor today is Helen Dehner of Poetry Matters. Helen, the quirky, fun-loving writer from Bend, Oregon, is a long-standing Follower of Real Toads.

© Helen Dehner

She has kindly provided us with the following list of words. The challenge is to include any number of them in your poem - a minimum of 3 will ensure that the word use does not become merely incidental.


© Helen Dehner

Helen has also given permission to use her photos on your blog, if you care to. Please include her copyright and a link back to Poetry Matters.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Toad's Favo(u)rite: The Raven

Image via Pinterest

I have a confession.  When I was young, I thought that Edgar Allan Poe was waaaay too corny for my coolness.  No, really, it's true.  The Tell-Tale Heart and Lenore left me completely unimpressed.  Annabel Lee?  Meh.  And, memorizing The Raven?  I hated every minute of that exercise.

But, you know what?  Thirty years later, I can still drop lines from The Raven.  And, that's certainly not due to my fabulous memory.

No, the credit for The Raven's stranglehold on my brain must go entirely to Mr. Poe.  His use of rhyme makes the lines flow and follow as naturally as night follows day.  The flawless meter gives the piece a beat so strong that you can practically dance to it.  And, the best alliteration EVER adds to the feel of rushing movement that sweeps the reader along.  Plus, hey, it's creepy!  The Raven is a poetic earworm, and you can't help but remember it.

So, yeah, I hated The Raven when I was kid.  Now, I just hate that I'll never write anything that compares to it.

The Raven

ONCE upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'T is some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door;         5
    Only this and nothing more."
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore,  10
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore:
    Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating  15
"'T is some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door,
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door:
    This it is and nothing more."
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;  20
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you"—here I opened wide the door:—
    Darkness there and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,  25
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore:"
    Merely this and nothing more.  30
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore;
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore:  35
    'T is the wind and nothing more."
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door,  40
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door:
    Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,—
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,  45
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore:
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
    Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;  50
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door,
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
    With such name as "Nevermore."
But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only  55
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered, not a feather then he fluttered,
Till I scarcely more than muttered,—"Other friends have flown before;
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before."
    Then the bird said, "Nevermore."  60
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore:
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore  65
    Of 'Never—nevermore.'
But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore,  70
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
    Meant in croaking "Nevermore."
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining  75
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er
    She shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.  80
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!"
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore."
    Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! prophet still, if bird or devil!  85
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore:
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!"
    Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."  90
"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us, by that God we both adore,
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore:
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore!"  95
    Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting:
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! quit the bust above my door! 100
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
    Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, 105
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor:
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
    Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Open Link Monday

Welcome to the Imaginary Garden ...

Dougtone's Flickr Photostream
Creative Commons (Share and Share Alike)
Greetings to all poets on this Monday. The weeks are speeding by with the year already half gone. Sometimes it seems impossible to find time to catch one's breath and relax. I hope that our Open Link provides some opportunity to pause for reflection, to enjoy the creative writing of others, very like ourselves, who steal a few moments from a busy schedule to express themselves in poetry. In our common environment we are here to share, support and learn and call it time well spent.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Sunday Mini-Challenge ~ Not guaranteed to be spider-free

Hi Toads, Kay here, with a bit of fun for you.
This challenge was originally to have been all about this great huge and very big spider that jumped onto the head of my friend Jenn's cat, Daisy, and the interesting, if somewhat gruesome, things said spider has been said to do.

Daisy wonders where it went. Photo by Jenn Jilks
The young cat had been eyeing the spider, which made it nervous, so it jumped up onto Daisy's head and hid behind her ear where she couldn't see it.
Critters who do things like that make me very nervous. Behind her ear. Ugh.
This one is Dolomedes Triton, a six-spotted fishing spider. The myth, Jenn says, is that they eat fish.
The truth is, they eat water striders and other water bugs (or anything else they want to eat, apparently not including cats).
Another myth, and this is why I thought it would make a good Toads challenge, is that the females often eat the males during courtship.
It seems the truth, however, according to a Wikipedia article about Triton's cousin, Dolomedes Fimbriatus, is that females who have already bred will eat males who attempt to breed with them thereafter.
D. Fimbriatus is heftier than her cousin, and singularly unattractive, in my opinion. I can't see why anyone would want to get near her, never mind mate with her.
The most interesting thing (again, in my opinion) about the Dolomedes girls is that they carry their eggs around in silk bags in their jaws, until they have hatched, as the ones in the photo below, have done, then leave them to find their way out of the bag and into the world unaided.

Wikipedia photo, Dolomedes Fimbriatus
Photo by Jenn Jilks
Cute, huh? But, in case you don't want to write poetry about spiders (and heaven knows I'd rather not) I'm including an assortment of Jenn's wildlife photos. They live near Perth, Ontario, where the nearby swampy land is a mecca for wildlife. But first, she and her husband live with four cats who seldom gather to eat all at once, so the photo above is considered most unusual, according to Jenn.

Daisy and her sister Dorah love to accompany Jenn on walks,
even where the ground is wet. Photo by Jenn Jilks
Canada Goose with gosling. Photo by Jenn Jilks
Tree frog. Photo by Jenn Jilks
I don't want to come out to play. Photo by Jenn Jilks
The baby phoebes in this nest are just beginning
to open their eyes. Photo by Jenn Jilks
And, for me, a darlin' duckling.
Photo by Jenn Jilks

The Sunday Challenge is posted on Saturday at noon CST to allow extra time for the creative process, so please do not link up old work which kind of fits an image.  This is in the spirit of our Real Toads project to create opportunities for poets to be newly inspired.  Management reserves the right to remove unrelated links but invites you to share a poem of your choice on Open Link Monday.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Artistic Interpretations with Margaret "Cowboy Poetry" (Photography byMerri Meide of "The Equestrian Vagabond")

The cowboy is a symbol of America's wild, western frontier, a rugged man set in the past, with an image steeped in intrigue and a history that has reached mythical proportions.  Today's cowboy bears some resemblance to his predecessor, but a lot has changed.

Instead of leading you around by the belt buckle, I am setting you free to explore the vast terrain of cowboy poetry.  An artist or a poem I admire may not be your "cup of tea" - or should I say "flask of whiskey"?

Few people imagine the rugged cowboy reciting, let alone writing, poetry.  Truth is, it has been going on for over a century.  Traditional examples of cowboy poetry are rhymed and metered, reflecting the world in which the cowboy lives.

Jack "Trey" Allen's poem, "What It Is"  “HERE” does a fine job explaining the nuances of what cowboy poetry is.

The "Bar-D Ranch" offers an index of cowboy poetry "HERE". (cursor down past the Sponsors to the "Index of Poems and Songs"  Have fun exploring these poets.  All are copyrighted and I didn't have permission to post here.  I assure you, if you take the time, you will fast find numerous favorites.  I hope they inspire you.  If you find a poet that tickles your fancy, be sure to link it for us to enjoy as well.

My Toad's, I invite you to write cowboy or .... cowgirl Poetry.  !!   .......SLIDING STOP ---

COWGIRL poetry?  Partner, you heard me correctly.  It is alive and well.  Click on the following title to read one of my personal favorites: "All That is Left", by "cowgirl" poet Virginia Bennett (cursor to the top to read about her - this link showcases her poetry).

Amblin' over to another site, I truly enjoyed the "Women of the Wild West".  Their poem "Big Boobs Ain't So Hot" will surely turn the corner of your lips.

Today's challenge is to write your own "Cowboy/girl Poetry", but unless you walk in boots dirty with manure, live in the West, and follow meter and rhyme, your poetry will be considered "contemporary" at best - or simply, not authentic.

 Therefore, I am calling our poetry "Cowboy Poetry LITE".

Don't you LOVE the FABULOUS photography?  It has been shared here with permission by Merri Melde, a horse photographer, writer, photojournalist, artist, and endurance horse rider - just to name a few of this amazing woman's accomplishments (I don't think she writes poetry, but maybe she will surprise us).  I have followed her blog for quite a while now, "The Equestrian Vagabond" and her photography site "The Equestrian Vagabond".

Write in any style you please.  It doesn't have to be in the traditional rhythm and rhyme.  Let your creativity ride the wind.  What you MUST do is write an original poem using one of Merri Melde's images shared here.  Factual historical themes relating to the west of yesterday are perfect, as are poems featuring daily life of the modern cowboy/girl or ranch hand.  One may even contemplate the terrain - just be sure to tie it all in to our theme.

I challenge you who have never tried on a cowboy hat to imagine (research by all means) a poem and bring something to feed and warm our minds 'round the ol' campfire (a.k.a. Mr. Linky).

Write as many poems, use as many images as you like.  Remember, we always have "Open Link Monday" and I warmly embrace late entries.

Again, all poetry must be original and written for this prompt.  Please include the name of our wonderful photographer, Merri Melde, and link to her website and blog if you use her photography on your blog.  I look forward to your Artistic Interpretations of Cowboy Poetry LITE.